posted 2012-03-07 19:10:15

My Attempt to Graduate

This week: The Degree Audit

Anna Serio, Staff Writer

So by now you should at least be considering filling out your Degree Audit Application Form (DAAF), right, seniors? It’s that a legal document that declares you took all of the classes you were supposed to take, so you should probably take it seriously. There are two forms: one for your major/minor, and one for your GERs which can be found on the registrar’s website. Only the major/minor form needs to be signed and stamped by your major/minor adviser(s). It seems simple, but unless you’ve been keeping track of which classes fill which GER, it’s tough to figure out which ones fill which requirement. Also, even the tiniest screw up like, say, not signing your name at the bottom, can set you back months (no pressure or anything). Here are some problems I ran into:

1. AP credits. O, those time and money saving bundles of credits that were once the bane of your existence! They made college go by so much faster, yet now they have the potential to delay your graduation because they’re only listed as credits. Now, when filling out the DAAF, you’re supposed to write the semester you took each class you want to count toward your GER. And if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past four years, it is to pay attention to the warning: “LATE OR INCOMPLETE DAAFS WILL DELAY/ PROLONG THE PROCESSING PERIOD”. What are you supposed to do? I checked with my adviser, and she told me to write “AP” there instead of leaving it blank. So that’s what I did, and you should too.

2. Transfer credits. This is kind of like the AP credits problem, in that transfer credits from a Non-CUNY school do not appear to have any grade. This is only a problem for major/minor requirements, where you have to list the grade in addition to everything else. For example, because I filled most of my minor requirements abroad, I cannot fill in the grades, and this just looks weird. It feel like it’s not okay, but according to advisors apparently it is: Just leave it blank.

3. Honors requirements. Some of you want to graduate with honors, and you should if you can. I mean it can’t hurt, right? Of course, in order to get honors, you have to do something. Sometimes this means writing a thesis, sometimes it means taking an honors-level course, other times it involves some finagling and deal making with major advisers and professors. However, whether or not you did these things is irrelevant to the DAAF. There is no place to list this, and the department is the one who decides if you graduate with honors in the end. So don’t worry if your class-that-isn’t-listed- as-honors-but-the-department-said-would- be-counted-as-honors-anyway-as-long- as-you-do-some-extra-work isn’t being specified as honors on the form. You’ll be fine. I checked with my advisor and the department on this one.

Of course, so many other things can go wrong. It’s difficult to figure what to do when you’re stuck, so I’d suggest talking to your adviser and going over everything before you turn in the DAAF. You can walk in or make an appointment at the Sylvia E. Fishman Student Center (417 HW) or the Office of Advising Services (1119 HE). Also, while you’re getting your major/ minor form stamped, ask any questions you might have about nuanced major problems that your adviser probably doesn’t know about, like: “can I count the two times I took an advanced fiction workshop as two sets of credits?” (by the way the answer is yes. But you’re going to have to explain yourself to the auditors, so it better be worth it).

There is an online advisement tool, Degree Information for Graduation (or DIG), that you can access through portal, but I would only use that as a last resort: I’ve been warned that they sometimes don’t list all of the GERs a course fills. Make sure you double-check everything. Above all else, remember to sign everything and to make lots of photocopies. And drop it off at OASIS as soon as possible: your future literally depends on it.